Tag Archives: OddBox

Thoughts and Prayers for Having a Real Election This Year

He can bluster and bully but courts will not support him. kuedfbxizeekndsxvhtm.jpg

President Trump falsely accused Michigan and Nevada of illegally sending vote-by-mail ballots to registered voters Wednesday morning, threatening to halt funding to the states in retaliation. In reality, the states are merely joining the ranks of other states—both red and blue ones—that are making absentee ballot…

Read more…

Mercenaries To The Right…Mercenaries To The Left

I have written many times about the modern use of mercenaries. I do not approve of using mercs to fight wars. If the war is necessary and for the right reason then man up and use the military…….do not use thugs masquerading as “security specialists”.

Like I stated I have lots to say about the use of mercs……pick on or read them all…..







Now you know how and why I feel that way about the use of mercs in today’s world.

Occasionally I get to read some of the papers that grad students are writing on international relations and conflict management…..this one is very interesting…..

The roots of the mercenarism can be traced back to the sixteenth century, argues Janice Thomson in one of the most comprehensive studies dedicated to this issue, in her book entitled “Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe”. Countries like Switzerland were the main suppliers and France, one of the main beneficiaries of mercenary troops in the 16th and 17th century. By the 18th century, armies could be considered truly multinational. “Frederick the Great recruited all over the Holy Roman Empire (…) At the onset of the Seven Years War he attempted to incorporate the entire Saxon army into his own”, argues Thomson. Large scale mercenarism began to fade in the 19th century, and by the 20th century the citizen-army became the norm with the employment of foreign fighters beginning to be regarded as an anomaly, representing either the remnants of imperialism or an ad-hoc response to a shortage in fighting forces. Janice Thomson argues, and her view is consistent with Barry Posen’s, the fading of this practice can be seen as a corollary of the evolution of state authority claims.

The practice of mercenarism is sanctioned under Humanitarian and Public International Law, under Article 47 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, the 1989 International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and under a regional convention sponsored by the African Union. The 1989 Convention describes a mercenary as “any person who is especially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight an armed conflict” who is “motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain”. The convention entered into force in 2001 and was signed only by 36 countries – with notable absentees like the US, Russia, Turkey or the UK. Arguably, these states have not ratified it because they use Private Military Contractors (PMC), who are of a different kind from mercenaries. However, the distinctions are more often hard to make – it is hard to find out whether foreign fighters are hired in a registered organization – which is what defines a PMC.

Opinion – The Rise of Mercenarism: Avoiding International Accountability

Let’s not forget that failed merc operation to kidnap Venezuela’s Maudro…..of course this was not in any way sanctioned by the DoD.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

truthdogg:“Trumpism is a state of mind, an active denial of the actual reality of America’s…




“Trumpism is a state of mind, an active denial of the actual reality of America’s past, present, and future. It’s a philosophy of weaponized illusion.

It’s fascism in theory, action, and form. The conquering of other peoples so a group concerned with power can maintain power.”

via twitter

That Covid-19 News

We Americans are bombarded every day with all sorts of news about this pandemic….antics of Donald of Orange, what the official count is, those mental midgets that want to infect the entire nation for their lack of concern….and then there are some stories that just do not make it to the news consumer……and there is where IST comes in…..

First I have seen where 45% of the American people think Donald the Orange is doing a good job managing this virus…..HUH?

Do these people see and hear the same stuff that I do?  If so how can anyone see the good job this man is doing?  But then most of them look like they should be in a mental institution.

Some  more troubling stats on the deaths….

Roughly 1,750 Americans are dying every day from COVID-19. But new federal estimates project that figure will nearly double over the next month, reports the New York Times. The projections from the CDC and FEMA see the US hitting about 3,000 deaths per day on June 1. The forecast also sees 200,000 newly diagnosed cases a day by that date, up from 25,000 a day now. The Times published the internal document here. On Sunday, President Trump increased his own estimate for the US death toll to 100,000, but the Times notes that figure will be surpassed in short order if these projections are correct. The US currently has about 68,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The new projections illustrate the risk of relaxing restrictions around the country, per the Hill. “There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” warns the CDC in the report. After the Times published the information, the White House cautioned against reading too much into it. “This is not a White House document nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting,” said spokesman Judd Deere. “This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed.” On Sunday, task force member Dr. Deborah Birx reiterated that White House projections on deaths remained between 100,000 and 240,000, “and that’s with full mitigation.”

The White House predictions on deaths is not encouraging….

An internal Trump administration document predicted that the US’s daily coronavirus death toll would nearly double over the next month, even as the president has encouraged states to return to business as usual, The New York Times first reported on Monday.

Daily deaths are expected to grow to about 3,000 by June 1 from about 1,750 now, according to the document, copies of which were obtained by The Times and The Washington Post.

The draft models also predicted that the number of new infections per day would jump to 200,000 from 25,000 — an eightfold increase — by June 1.


I recently wrote about a Russian doctor the “fell” out a window….and now there seems to be a trend developing…..

Three frontline health care workers have mysteriously fallen out of hospital windows in Russia over the past two weeks, heightening public attention to the working conditions for doctors and medical professionals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Two of those health care workers are dead, and one remains hospitalized.
All three incidents, which are being investigated by Russian law enforcement authorities, have prompted intense discussion in the Russian press and on social media.
Alexander Shulepov, an ambulance doctor in Voronezh, a city about 320 miles south of Moscow, is in serious condition after falling from a hospital window on Saturday. Local state television, citing regional health officials, said he fell out of second-floor window of the Novousmanskaya hospital, where he worked and was receiving treatment after testing positive for coronavirus.
One is a coincidence….three is a trend and suspicious….
Could smoking actually be good for you?

A preliminary study by French researchers left the medical community baffled when it found that smokers may be 80 percent less likely to catch COVID-19 than non-smokers of the same age and sex.

Analyzing public health data, the scientists concluded that out of the 482 patients who visited Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris between February 28th and April 9th, merely 5 percent were daily smokers, according to a report in The Economist.

The results come as a surprise and contradict multiple other studies and expert warnings which have cautioned against tobacco use and smoking, as FIT had earlier reported. The study researchers have also acknowledged the danger smoking poses to health, making further inquiry into the findings extremely necessary.


I will not get rid of my nicotine patches just yet.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The First Code Talkers

Today is the 5th of May….a day of celebration for those of Mexican descent…..

Not the only thing that occurred on this day.

History records that the first code talkers enlisted on this day in 1942…..but actually the very first code talkers were used in World War One…..1918 to be exact.

When US military codes kept being broken by the Germans in WW1 a Native American tribe came to the rescue. They just spoke their own language – which baffled the enemy – and paved the way for other Native American “code talkers” in WW2.

It’s an irony that probably didn’t go unnoticed by Choctaw soldiers fighting in World War One. While the tribe’s children were being whipped for speaking in their native tongue at schools back home in Oklahoma, on the battlefields of France the Native American language was the much-needed answer to a very big problem.

In the autumn of 1918, US troops were involved in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on the Western Front. It was one of the largest frontline commitments of American soldiers in WW1, but communications in the field were compromised. The Germans had successfully tapped telephone lines, were deciphering codes and repeatedly capturing runners sent out to deliver messages directly.

“It was a huge problem and they couldn’t figure out a way around it,” says Matt Reed, curator of American Indian Collections at the Oklahoma History Center, the headquarters of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

The solution was stumbled upon by chance, an overheard conversation between two Choctaw soldiers in the 142nd Infantry Regiment. The pair were chatting in camp when a captain walked by and asked what language they were speaking. Realising the potential for communication, he then asked if there were other speakers among the troops. The men knew of Choctaw soldiers at company headquarters. Using a field telephone the captain got the men to deliver a message in their native tongue which their colleagues quickly translated back into English. The Choctaw Telephone Squad was born and so was code talking.


I do not want to take anything away from the code talkers in World War Two….it is that they were just carrying on a fine tradition of their fellow NAs….that started in World War One.

On this day 05 May 1942……

On May 5, 1942, 29 men arrived at Recruit Depot San Diego for basic training in the Marine Corps. They would go on to develop and implement an unbreakable code that was used across the Pacific theater of World War II — one which helped mask the movements of American forces from Guadalcanal, to Tarawa, Peleliu, and onward to Iwo Jima. 

These men were the first of the Navajo Code Talkers.

However, according to a Facebook post by the Southern Navajo Nation News, it was on this day, 78 years ago that they swore the oath of enlistment.


Our hats go off to these brave men and offer a well deserved ‘thank you’….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Here’s What Huntington Beach Looked Like On Saturday (Hint: Not Empty)

Sad to see so many willing to risk themselves and their community. 5ea541d2909fb10008f98b8c-eight.jpgPeople walk on the beach, some wearing masks. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

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In our morning briefing, Gina Pollack had some plain talk about what we witnessed Saturday:

It’s topping 90-degrees. Most of us are on day 40-50 of quarantine (I counted 43, personally) and driveable access to beaches and wildflowers is probably one of the reasons a lot of us chose to live here in the first place.

But, look: Public health experts, doctors, mayors, governors — all say the best way to beat this virus is to avoid contact with other people. And the best way to do that is to stay home.

Neighborhood walks? Sure. Runs? That’s ok, too. But please, stop posting your poppy selfies on Instagram. At the very least, have a little discretion. When you tag your location, we can see you. We know you were there today for a picnic at 1 p.m. sitting all over those innocent flowers. And beach goers, we see you too.

It’s like, we’ve been in line for 43 days, do you really want to get out of line and start over? DO YOU? Because when you get out of the line, we all have to get out of line.

Plus, let’s be real. If we all crowd the beaches, then we’re no better than Florida. And I for one, think we are better than Florida.

See what you think. Here’s what Huntington Beach in Orange County looked like on Saturday:

5ea53e96909fb10008f98b87-eight.jpgLifeguards in Huntington Beach expected tens of thousands of people to flock the beach this weekend due to the heat wave. Lifeguards and law enforcement are patrolling the beach to make sure people are keeping their distance. (Apu Gomes / AFP via Getty Images)5ea541dd7b247700094a0bea-eight.jpgThe afternoon fog on Saturday didn’t seem to deter beachgoers. P(Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)5ea541da7b247700094a0be8-eight.jpgThe reflexion of lifeguard wearing a face mask surveying the beach is seen from her post. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)5ea541d9909fb10008f98b92-eight.jpgMike Bennett wears a Patriot face mask on his mouth as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 while skateboarding Saturday. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)5ea541d7909fb10008f98b90-eight.jpg(Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)5ea541d47b247700094a0be6-eight.jpgMen play spike ball on the beach. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)5ea545207b247700094a0bf6-eight.jpgWomen wearing face masks sunbathe on the beach.(Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

Orange County officials — who have called for non-local residents to stay away from the beaches there — have warned that if beaches become too crowded to ensure public health, they will close them again.


In case you were wondering what Sunday looked like, here’s a shot of a path near the beach.

5ea615707b247700094a0c2f-eight.jpgPeople ride bikes and walk on a path along the beach on April 26. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)


4 p.m.: This article was updated with photo from Sunday.

This article was originally published at 7 a.m.